|Marianne Curtis, Journalist and Author|
RAE OF HOPE: STORIES FROM SURVIVORS
Best selling author Marianne Curtis has just released her newest book, RAE OF HOPE: STORIES FROM SURVIVORS – real stories from victims of bullies. Curtis herself is a survivor of childhood abuse, bullying, and sexual assault. In addition to writing books, she has been a journalist for the past 20 years in Manitoba, Canada.
In the following post, we learn how she is able to solicit information that is painful to her subjects and why it’s so important to tell their stories.
Don't miss the giveaway opportunity following her post.
Marianne Curtis: A Pro at Telling Other People’s Stories
Amazon bestselling author Marianne Curtis is a pro at telling other people's stories. As a journalist with seventeen years experience, she has perfected the art of getting people to share their deepest, darkest secrets. Why do people share with her? Because even though she is a member of one of the most hated professions (media), she redeems herself by being an empathetic and compassionate listener.
For those who’ve been abused, talking about what happened even years after the abuse has stopped can be as painful as the day it first occurred. Having someone to share those stories with, without judgement and condemnation is key.
"In many cases, all it takes is a genuine ‘I know what you are talking about’ that will give a victim peace, and the courage to stand up to their abusers, or to take steps to move forward towards real healing," stated Curtis.
So why is it so important to share these stories?
It sounds so simple—telling your story. But when it is a story of tragedy, or abuse it becomes more difficult. It is also more important. It is the telling of one’s story that eventually results in successful healing and finding peace. Intellectually, one may be able to recite the details but it takes time and repetition to begin to own them. As you retell your story, the numbness begins to lessen at about the same pace as you become cognizant of the details.
"Until I wrote my first book, Finding Gloria, I did not realize how messed up things were," stated Curtis. "Then I started looking at the big picture, began to recognize patterns, and subsequently, I began looking for solutions to solve the problems that originated by some of the things I was made to believe about myself, based on my treatment while I was growing up."
Sharing your story through writing can help victims because it can be difficult to find someone with whom to share your story. Some people will listen once or maybe a few times but then lose interest or become frustrated, likely from their inability to know how to respond or help. People often wear out their friends and family members. That “wearing out” comes from their inability to “fix” the problem and the length of time it takes to recover.
"I learned so much about myself through this process, and it was so freeing," Curtis continued. "That is why I invited other people who had a story to tell that they were unable to share it with others, to open up and send them to me. By simply saying I was interested, I opened the door for others to share their stories, and the submissions started coming."
Indeed, one must tell their story over and over and over again. Often, people are unable to comprehend the length of time it takes to heal. Those people we love the most, have the greatest power to hurt us, usually without any realization.
"Like tears cleanse the body, telling your story cleanses your soul," Curtis added. "It truly helps to tell those awful details; once you’ve said them out loud to someone or written them out, they aren’t quite so awful."
Curtis believes that telling the details allows a victim to gently move toward acceptance and eventually toward healing and peace.
"It is critical to find someone – be it a friend, a family member, a clergy person, a therapist or a support group – where you feel safe to tell your story," Curtis adds. "Everyone needs someone to witness his or her pain.
When stories aren’t told and shared with others, lives are lived under the shadow of pain. Unresolved issues can manifest themselves through depression and other illnesses. Victims often find true happiness and joy elusive.
It is never too late to repair some of the damage by sitting down and discussing what happened. As information is shared and questions are answered, people begin to heal. Telling your story is an important part of the process.
About Marianne Curtis
Marianne Curtis is a well respected newspaper journalist in Manitoba, Canada with nearly twenty years of media, publishing and freelance writing experience. Her first book, a personal memoir called Finding Gloria hit the best sellers list on Amazon in Canada, United States and United Kingdom several times.
In 2013, she received a YWCA Woman of Distinction nod for inspiring others by sharing her story of struggle and survival after recovering from childhood abuse, bullying, and sexual assault.
Curtis’s other published titles include: Moondust and Madness: a collection of poetry, Behind Whispering Pines, Brian’s Last Ride and A Discreet Betrayal. When Ms. Curtis is not writing, she enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren; reading, gardening and spending time with friends.
Over the past few years, bullying has become an epidemic with deadly consequences. Newspaper headlines scream for justice as our youth fight for survival; a fight they sometimes lose.
RAE OF HOPE: STORIES FROM SURVIVORS is a collection of real stories, written by real people who have suffered at the hands of bullies. In each story, contributors dig deep into their own painful memories to vulnerably expose their horrors with the hope that their survival will inspire others to fight.
This collection includes contributions from across Canada, the US and UK. Read stories of bullying survivors, including submissions from Leah Parson’s, whose daughter “Heather” was bullied to the point of suicide in 2013 in Nova Scotia; Jenna Nickie, the “Warrior Mom” from Saskatchewan; Evan Wiens, who fought successfully for a gay-straight alliance within a Christian-based school district and Candace Maxymowich, a budding politician subjected to international online bullying during a civic election campaign also contributed to this project. Gina Dickason, founder of Families Impacted by Bullying shares her daughter Jade’s story for the first time ever.
Along with real Stories, RAE OF HOPE: STORIES FROM SURVIVORS includes vital information that could help you identify and stop bullying in your home or community.
By sharing our stories, we take back our power and are no longer victims.
Barnes and Noble Paperback
First prize: Autographed copies of Rae of Hope and Finding Gloria by Marianne Curtis
Second prize: 1 of 4 autographed copies of Rae of Hope by Marianne Curtis
Click here to enter giveaway.